Construction blocking off the North Complex hallway connecting the Beede/Mickelson and the Richardson/Olson residence halls remain underway and will continue until the start of next semester.
University Housing director Ashley Hartnett said despite anticipation of having the walkway re-opened by early October, the renovations in the old commons area have prevented the opening of the hallway by the expected date, and the walkway will likely open when construction of the new student services offices are fully completed.
According to Adam Chicoine, director of Aramark, one inconvenience the walkway construction has caused students is the lack of accessibility to the Provisions on Demand (P.O.D.) convenience store located in North Complex.
Chicoine said the P.O.D. is like the “corner store” for students in North Complex and he said business in the store is slower due to the construction.
“Ideally, it would be nice for it to be done as quickly as possible,” Chicoine said.
Two first-year music education majors, Morgan Bodeing and Ashlyn Schwartz, said that the walkway construction has been going on for as long as they’ve been students here, and they’re now accustomed to having to walk outside to get to the other side of the building.
“I just come out of the door and go to the fine arts building because that’s where I need to go, other than that, it isn’t that big of a deal,” Schwartz said.
Both students also said there will be more inconvenience during winter months, due to having to walk through the snow to get to the other side of North Complex.
Despite the long construction process and the lack of business at the P.O.D., Chicoine said that the result, in the end, will be better for everyone.
“The construction is going to be more beneficial for everyone on campus,” Chicoine said.
The university is planning to use the former commons area in North Complex as more space for offices of several different clubs and organizations on campus, including the university housing department themselves. Other organizations utilizing this space will include the TRiO student support organization and veteran student services, Hartnett said.
Hartnett said having a central hub for student services close to the living spaces of first-year students will have a positive impact on how the university will operate in the future.
“It’s an opportunity to bring a lot of different offices that are there for student support in several different areas, into one central area to serve students more effectively,” Hartnett said.